The northern edge of the Gulf of Elat

Zvi Ben-Avraham, Gideon Tibor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Gulf of Elat (Aqaba) is located at the southern portion of the Dead Sea transform. Three large sedimentary basins exist within the gulf. The northern edge of the Gulf of Elat, the Gulf's Head, forms the divide between the northern sedimentary basin of the gulf, the Elat Deep basin, and the on-land sedimentary basins of the southern Arava Valley. At this location the Gulf of Elat narrows considerably. A transverse fault zone separates the Elat Deep basin from the Gulf's Head. This fault zone is highly deformed, and consists of numerous distinct faults and subbottom structures. Several structural elements within this zone extend westward into a graben on the Sinai Peninsula which is older than the Gulf of Elat. The transverse fault zone connects two large strike-slip faults segments of the Dead Sea transform. The southern segment borders the Elat Deep on the east, and the northern segment borders the Gulfs Head on the west. Some left-lateral displacement is also occurring along the transverse fault zone. The transverse fault zone is, thus, part of the main Dead Sea transform and not a secondary fault as is found at the southern end of the Elat Deep. It is associated with a magnetic anomaly which is one of the largest recorded in the Gulf of Elat. The existence of such an anomaly possibly indicates basaltic intrusion along this zone. Other instances where transverse faults extend away from the basinal areas, like at the northern boundary of the Elat Deep, can be recognized along the Dead Sea rift. These structures may suggest that the longitudinal dimension of several of the basins is determined during early stages of their formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1993
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was sup~rted by a grant from the Israel Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.W e are indebted to the captain and crew of R/V Trevos for their assistancea nd to the staff of the InteruniversityIn stitute at Elat for their cooperation. We also thank 2;. Reches, R.G. Bohannon and an anonymousr eviewerfor constructiver e-views.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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